Pre-Delivery and Test Flight of a B777

MUKILTEO, WA – On Tuesday of this week, our Aircraft Programs team did a customer walk on the B777-300ER (C-FKAU, FIN 749) Air Canada is receiving next week. Our team consists of various managers, mechanics, and engineers. The customer walk is an important step because it is basically a final inspection of the aircraft before delivery.

Air Canada and Boeing inspected the aircraft for the day and looked for snags and other issues on the airplane. We had to put a piece of red tape when we snagged something on the plane. We tested the mechanical characteristics of the seats, such as recline, headrest, armrest, and tray table. The team also tested the flight attendant call button and reading light from every seats. Over 400 seats were inspected during the day!

(Photo Credits: Jen Schuld)

Our Boeing 777-300ER landing at Paine Field after a successful test flight on May 18. (Photo Credits: Jennifer Schuld)

Test Flight (C1)

The next morning, I was aboard the customer test flight (C1) of the aircraft. It is the second test flight of the plane since it was built. The flight lasted around 2h45 with a touch-and-go and a go-around at Moses Lake (KMWH). The aircraft headed West of the state of Washington after takeoff from Paine Field. The Boeing 777 then followed the shoreline to the South before taking a left turn towards the East. At our cruising altitude of 39,000 feet, the pilots performed several tests on the aircraft.

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Flight path of the  aircraft via FlightRadar24.

Go-around at Moses Lake.

Go-around at Moses Lake.

Some of the tests included the extension of the flaps and the slats close to cruising altitude. The spoilers (speed brakes) were also deployed for a short period of time.

Extension of the flaps.

Extension of the flaps.

Extension of the spoilers.

Extension of the spoilers.

The landing gear was also extended during the flight. The cabin started to shake when the gear was deployed because the aircraft was flying in cruise phase at a higher speed than usual when the aircraft is about to normally land at a lower speed. The gear is the part of the aircraft that creates the most drag.

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Flying over the mountains in the beautiful state of Washington.

The flight crew decompressed the cabin at an altitude of 39,000 feet with a feeling for the passengers that the cabin was pressured at 11,000, 12,000, and 13,000 feet. The cabin is usually pressurized at 8,000 feet for the comfort of the passengers. At lower cabin pressure altitudes, passengers will feel better and rested after a long flight. The Boeing 787 is pressurized at 6,000 feet, which is an improvement from the current generation of aircraft.

Blue skies!

Blue skies ahead!

Flight deck of the Boeing 777-300ER (77W).

Flight deck of the Boeing 777-300ER during flight.

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Flight line of Boeing 787s at Boeing Everett Factory.

I am now heading back home to Eastern Canada for the long weekend (Victoria Day). I am not working on Monday since our office is closed for the Holiday! Next Tuesday, I am leaving the Aircraft Programs team and I will be joining the Network Planning group for the rest of the summer. During my trip, I had the opportunity to tour one-on-one the Boeing Everett Factory! Stay tuned for an overview of the factory tour as well as my first few days in the Network Planning department.

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Aircraft Programs: Post-Delivery of a B777

Last week, I started my internship at Air Canada. I am working with the Aircraft Programs team until the end of this week. Next week, I will head to the Network Planning department for the remaining of the summer.

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Economy cabin of Air Canada’s Boeing 777-300ER (77W) in a high density configuration of 450 passengers, which includes 28 Business, 21 Premium Economy, and 398 Economy class seats.

I spent most of my first days in the cabin of a Boeing 777-300ER. This aircraft was just delivered from Boeing a few weeks ago. It is now sitting outside on the tarmac at a maintenance facility in Mirabel, Canada, about 30 miles from the Montreal Airport. I was shadowing an Aircraft Program Manager while he was performing his duties of post delivery. The aircraft needs to be ready soon because it will enter fly its first revenue flight next week from Toronto to Vancouver.

Flight deck of the Boeing 777.

Flight deck of the Boeing 777.

The manager has to make sure the aircraft gets ready before entry into service (EIS). Many tests had to be completed to ensure all the systems work perfectly. All oxygen masks should drop from the overhead panel. Most of the resting was related to the inflight entertainment system (IFE). We played movies as well as the safety video. All the functions of the business class seat such as reclining were tested.

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My favorite features of this aircraft are the meal order and text messaging functionality. Passengers can order drinks and meals from their own seat. There is even an option to add ice and a lemon in your glass/cup. They can also buy duty-free products aboard the airplane. Customers are also able to message their friends and relatives or any other passenger on the flight.

Passengers can order refreshments, meals, and duty free items from their personal seat.

Passengers can order refreshments, meals, and duty free items from their personal seat.

I had the chance to pretty much explore the whole aircraft! I saw a crew rest for the first time. On the Boeing 777 there are two beds and two seats at the front of the cabin on the second floor. For the flight attendants, there are eight beds at the rear of the aircraft on the second floor.

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Door to enter the rear flight attendant rest area.

Rear flight attendant rest area.

Rear flight attendant rest area.

I am really happy and blessed to have the opportunity to do this. What can an Embry-Riddle student ask more than spending entire afternoons aboard an aircraft!?

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Short Trip to Seattle

This week, I am in the Seattle/Tacoma area from Monday to Thursday. I will be joining the Aircraft Programs team for the inspection of our 19th and last Boeing 777 to be delivered from Everett, Washington next week. It was the first time I was flying as a non-revenue passenger.

Beautiful sunset over the SeaTac area.

Beautiful sunset over the SeaTac area.

One of the perk of working as a summer intern for an airline are the travel privileges. Some airlines allow you to fly on standby on all of their flights if seats are available. Employees only have to pay taxes and other related fees. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to discover Air Canada’s network this summer since the air carrier requires its employees to work for six months before being granted flight benefits.

My first flight was from Montreal to Toronto. I then flew from Toronto to Seattle.  I was upgraded on both of my flights! For the short 53-minute flight to Toronto, I was flying on an Airbus A330 featuring fully lie-flat beds. The aircraft was completely empty. Only 10 of the 37 upfront premium seats were occupied. On the second flight I was onboard an Embraer 190, the smallest mainline aircraft in our fleet.

Cheese plate and nuts offered in Business Class from Montreal to Toronto.

Cheese plate and nuts offered in Business Class from Montreal to Toronto.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle.

Chicken or pasta was served as the main course on the flight to Seattle.

Paine Field is where I will spend the next couple of days. The airport is home of Boeing where it completes the assembly of the 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s aircraft. The Boeing 737 family of aircraft is made in Renton, WA. Our team will be inspecting the aircraft because it wants to makes sure everything works well on the aircraft before delivery. I will write a story about this exciting trip very soon.

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Summer Plans

Finals are now over for Embry-Riddle students! For some, it’s finally summer and it is time to rest and relax. For others, jobs and internships are starting in the following weeks.

In my last blog, I mentioned that I would be flying on Delta’s first Airbus A321 flight on May 2. However, the airline made a last minute equipment change and postponed the inaugural  flight. I therefore cancelled my trip to Atlanta on that day.

Last week, my friend flew down from Canada and visited me in Daytona Beach. We enjoyed the beach and warm weather before leaving Florida on Saturday to drive my car up to Canada. The drive from Daytona to Montreal is about 1,400 miles and two days of driving. The first day, we drove close to 1,000 miles and stopped for the night close to Philadelphia. The second day, we drove about seven hours to see my brother in Boston. The next day, we drove the last five hours to Canada. I was exhausted after arriving home in the late afternoon!

Photo Credits: Air Canada

Photo Credits: Air Canada

Now I barely have time to rest since I am starting a summer internship at Air Canada in Network Planning on Wednesday of this week. For the first two weeks of the internship, I will be working with the Aircraft Programs team. It is the department that buys and leases aircraft for Air Canada. After that, I will be spending the rest of my internship in Network Planning. Stay tuned all summer to learn more about my internship!

I hope everyone enjoys their summer!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@y.erau.edu

Flying high over WA State

Over the past two weeks, I have been spending a lot of time in the air. Although I’m not a pilot, I will never skip a chance to go flying. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had flying happened just two weeks ago.

Because Alaska Airlines operates over half of the flights at Sea-Tac International Airport, the two businesses have a close relationship. I’m thankful for this because Alaska Airlines took all of the interns (Port of Seattle, Alaska Airlines, and Horizon Airlines) on a delivery flight! Most people in the aviation industry never have the chance to go on a delivery flight of an aircraft, so I am very grateful I had the opportunity to.

The day started off at Alaska Airlines Headquarters, right across the road from Sea-Tac. We got to see all around the corporate building, then we got on a bus to head over to the Boeing 737 factory in Renton, WA. Boeing doesn’t offer public tours of the Renton factory, so it was pretty awesome to get to see inside. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos, so I don’t have any to share with you all. After the tour, we headed over to the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle. It is one of the best flight museums in the country. My favorite part is the 787 Dreamliner and Air Force 1 that they have on display for people to walk through outside. Have any of you ever been inside a 787? They’re huge!

Hanging out at Alaska Airlines Headquarters

Hanging out at Alaska Airlines Headquarters

A quote I love at the Museum of Flight

A quote I love at the Museum of Flight

After we were all toured out, we got on the bus and headed over to the Boeing Delivery Center building at Boeing Field. From there, we were able to go out on the ramp and meet our ride for the next hour. It was a brand new Boeing 737-900ER. We were able to take pictures in front of the aircraft, in the engines, as well as inside of the landing gear! It was amazing to see all of the wiring that goes into just the landing gear.

New Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER

New Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER

The wiring for the landing gear!

The wiring for the landing gear!

Sitting in the engine

Sitting in the engine

Once we had taken all the pictures we could, we boarded the aircraft. Just like new cars, it had that “new airplane” smell. We were able to sit wherever we wanted and roam about the cabin. Our flight route was leaving from Boeing Field, flying over the Cascade Mountain Range, and then looping back to Paine Field in Everett, were there are more Boeing factories.

Port of Seattle interns on the flight

Port of Seattle interns on the flight

During the flight, we were able to ride jump seat and talk to the pilots. Boeing also gave out gift bags with goodies and a full meal. It was awesome! We even played trivia over the speaker inside the aircraft. It was such a long, aviation-filled day, but I will remember it for a lifetime. I hope everyone gets the chance to go on a delivery flight, because you truly get to appreciate all of the work that goes into creating a brand new aircraft.

Up in the flight deck

Up in the flight deck

Now I mentioned I’ve been doing a lot of flying lately. I also was able to go on a few GA flights over the past few weeks. The first, we just did a few loops around my town and over the lake where I live. It’s crazy how different things look from the air!

The second GA flight I went on was incredible. We took a 172 up to Seattle and did a scenic waterfront flight. Normally, if anyone wanted to go on a Seattle flight, it would cost hundreds of dollars per person. However, the beauty of knowing pilots is that you get that whole experience and more, for a lot less! We flew north over Tacoma, the Puget Sound, around and under the Bravo airspace at Sea-Tac, and up to Seattle. It was so pretty, especially because we went at sunset. Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, and its even better from the air! We couldn’t get enough in just one fly-by, so we looped around for about 30 minutes, taking pictures and admiring the city from above.

Seattle waterfront from above

Seattle waterfront from above

Just a few friends in a 172

Just a few friends in a 172

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

 

A few years ago, I never would’ve thought I would be where I am today. I mean a delivery flight?! That’s a dream come true. Then flying over Seattle with some of my best friends, I never would’ve guessed. When I get to reflect back on all of the amazing aviation experiences I have had, I feel so blessed to be attending ERAU, where I’m making my dreams come true one by one. It is incredible all of the opportunities Riddle has given me, just in my first year. I cannot wait for the aviation-filled years to come!

Until next time,

Lindsey

Plane Spotting at CYUL, TNCM, and KDAB

Looking at a plane in the air that just took off or is about to land is part of my daily life. Since I work at the airport, I see planes moving everyday. Even at the end of my first year  at Embry-Riddle I never got tired and I would still look in the sky to see what kind of aircraft it was. Last week, I decided to go plane spotting after work.

In 2012, Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (CYUL) inaugurated the Jacques-De-Lesseps Park for plane spotting activities, the only official observation park in Canada. The park faces 9,600 feet runway 06R/24L. The thing I like about Montreal is that we have a lot of international carriers so I can have a variety of aircraft in my pictures. I like the Air Canada A320, but sometimes it is great to see other airlines that we don’t see very often in North America like Royal Jordanian and SkyGreece Airlines.

I like to see people watch planes even though they have no clue what type of aircraft it is. The airport installed a sign where it shows all the types of aircraft that flies in and out of Montreal. It indicates the shape of the aircraft as well as the number of passengers it can sit.

Last year during the Christmas break my family and I went on vacation to St. Maarten. The island’s airport (TNCM) is best known for its low approaches over the shore and Maho Beach. There are a few restaurants surrounding the beach with a perfect view of the approach. Here are some of the pictures I took when I was there:

KLM Boeing 747-400 a few seconds before touchdown.

KLM Boeing 747-400 a few seconds before touchdown.

The 'Queen of the Skies' flew over a crowded beach!

The ‘Queen of the Skies’ flew over a crowded beach!

Wells Fargo Bank Gulfstream G550 over Maho Beach.

Wells Fargo Bank’s Gulfstream G550 over Maho Beach.

United Airlines Boeing 737-700 arriving from Newark.

United Airlines Boeing 737-700 arriving from Newark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Daytona Beach, we also have great locations to see what is going on the runways. I enjoy going on the terrace of the Aviation Maintenance Science Building and the Flight Operations Center. I highly recommend to the new incoming freshman to go check it out. We don’t have a lot of commercial flights there but we do have a lot of general aviation traffic!

All the pictures in this blog were taken with my iPhone. Yes, I know it is not the greatest camera but it did the work. Below are some of the pictures I took in Montreal:

Swiss Intl. Air Lines Airbus A330-300 heading to Zurich.

Swiss Intl. Air Lines Airbus A330-300 heading to Zurich.

Air France B777-200ER taking off from 24L. There are up to 8 daily flights between Montreal and paris.

Air France B777-200ER taking off from 24L. There are up to 8 daily flights between Montreal and Paris.

Delta Connection CRJ 700 operated by GoJet Airlines.

Delta Connection CRJ 700 operated by GoJet Airlines.

Air Transat Boeing 737-800 with new fuel efficient Split Scimitar Winglets.

Air Transat Boeing 737-800 with new fuel efficient Split Scimitar Winglets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I only have about two weeks left working at the airport but summer is not over yet. I have many things planned in the next weeks. In my next post, I will share my experience working in an aviation environment this summer.

Until next time!

Nicolas

 

Life At The Airport

Hello there!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far! I am new on the blog team so I will start by introducing myself. My name is Nicolas Bernier and I just completed my first year at Embry-Riddle. I am studying in Aviation Business Administration and I fly as a minor to obtain my instrument rating. I live in Montreal, Canada, the Great White North!

For my first blog, I will talk about my new summer job. I am happy because it is in a field that I am currently studying at ERAU. About two weeks ago, I started to work in the Finance Department at Montréal-Trudeau Intl. Airport (YUL).

Aéroports de Montréal logo.

Aéroports de Montréal logo.

My supervisor makes me do a lot of different things and I love it! During the first few days, I gathered all the flight schedules of all the carriers flying in and out of the airport for the next winter season. For example, Qatar Airways plans to operate three weekly flights to Doha on a 77W aircraft, commonly known as the Boeing 777-300ER. From the Excel table I have, I can determine if a carrier reduced or increased its number of flights to the airport for this winter compared to last winter. I am also able to see new routes or if a service to a destination got cancelled.

Aéroports de Montréal, the company I work for, manages both the international airport and the Montréal-Mirabel Intl. Airport (YMX), the latter one only being use for cargo flights. Last week, I compiled the number of kilograms of the inbound and outbound cargo of each air carrier for both airports. I made the calculation per month for 2014 and for the first quarter of 2015.

I am happy to have taken the Advanced Computer Based Systems class last semester because knowing how to use Excel and Access helps me a lot and saves time. But if I do not remember how to do everything, I can just ask for help and the people I work with will be glad to help me. Most of the times I ask Google though.

One of the thing I like the most about my job is that I am surrounded by airplanes taking off and landing and also by people who love aviation, just like at Embry-Riddle. Aéroports de Montréal’s administrative office is located on the last floor of a 10-story Marriott hotel facing the US bound concourse. During break, I often like to go eat lunch somewhere in the terminal. I am only limited to the stores and restaurants in the public area; I do not have the pass which would give me access to the boarding area on the other side of the security.

The last two floors of the Marriott hotel are used as administrative offices for Aéroports de Montréal.

The last two floors of the Marriott hotel are used as administrative offices for Aéroports de Montréal.

View of the Transborder Concourse from the 10th floor.

View of the Transborder Concourse from the 10th floor.

This wraps up my first post. I am really excited about this job and cannot wait to discover and learn new stuff. On my next blog, I will share more experiences about my job. Stay tuned!

Until next time!

Nicolas

The Summer of Delta: Part 2

Delta 767-400 in Atlanta.My internship at Delta Air Lines this summer has been quite the adventurous one.  Besides a very busy work schedule, I have already touched the east and west coasts, mainland Europe including Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as many interior states.  My trip to Brussels was quite the ever-changing one as I had to take the train to Amsterdam and catch a Boeing 777 ride home to the United States.  Keeping up with the rest of the aviation geeks here, being able to spot some gorgeous airline heavy metal is a regular occurrence at the world’s busiest airport.  The cell phone lot at ATL gives you the opportunity to take some great pictures, like the one above of a company Boeing 767-400, when we are using a west departure operation. Working at an airline is NEVER a boring job!

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

 

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Delta is a very dynamic place to be right now, especially since we seem to be the airline with the target on our backs.  Massive profits in recent times have set Delta apart from the rest of the industry, showing that massive growth and acquisition strategies have seemed to play out in the company’s favor. One of the biggest happenings at the company since I have been here was the recent opening of the Delta Flight Museum at the airline’s Atlanta General Offices location.  The event was well-covered on social media and news sites as well, so check it out for more information on how to see this great attraction.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

The internship has really opened my eyes to how complex an airline is.  Thousands of people are needed to get a flight off the ground, not just the six to twelve crewmembers that are in each airplane getting the passenger from point A to point B.  The typical view of an airline is one that comes from what folks see at an airport but it is really much, much more in depth.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Departments like mine (Network Planning) touch each flight at some point and build a schedule that has integrity and will be profitable, Revenue Mangement, aka ticket pricing, prices many levels of tickets with limitations depending on what days you might be traveling or how far in advance you might be purchasing your fare, Operations Control handles each flight enroute and solves any problems that might arise, and Finance provides the money needed to get each flight off the ground by financing airplanes and projects as well as daily operations.  The picture to the right shows my ride back to the US from Amsterdam, one of our Boeing 777s.  Partnerships like our one with KLM in AMS make our international operations much easier by sharing gates and ground equipment plus personnel. Hundreds of other specific departments and sectors are needed as well, really showing the complexity of the world’s greatest mode of transportation: Flight.

 

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators.

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators, including this Boeing 767.

Not only am I a business major, I also have my FAA Commercial Pilot’s Certificate and keep current in both multi-engine and single-engine airplanes.  One perk of being at Delta has been access to the full-motion flight simulators that our pilots use to train on their specific aircraft type.  We have at least one simulator or more in-house for every type that we fly except the Boeing 717 (Boeing owns those simulators).  I have been fortunate enough to fly the Boeing 767-300ER and Boeing 777-200LR sims as well as the Airbus A330.  I hope to fly the other types, stay tuned for more pictures!

I am excited to see where else my non-revenue travels will take me this summer and I will be sure to share more pictures and stories as they happen!

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

 

Life Update…Prepare Yourself!

I admit, it’s been way too long since I’ve last updated you guys! So prepare yourself, because not even I expected this much to happen to me since August. Let’s just say that I have been extremely blessed. I am so grateful for all of the amazing opportunities that I have been given. It’s such a great feeling to reflect on all of the goals that I have set for myself since the start of my college career and to see them come to life. Don’t get me wrong, my junior year of college has also been the toughest for me. I’ve definitely had my fair share of struggles, but have managed to get through them shiny side up with the support of my family, hard work, and my strong faith in God.

Sigma Sigma SigmaSo here is a quick summary of everything that you’ve missed. Last semester I unexpectedly took on the role of president of my sorority in order to fill the position of a sister who took an internship. It also happened to be the same semester that I was taking my toughest classes. I somehow managed to pull through while still maintaining a 3.9 GPA. It was a very stressful time, but I learned so much being the leader of my sorority and wouldn’t change it for anything. My best advice to get through times like these: don’t be afraid to take on a challenge, even if it looks impossible. During times like these, you will surprise yourself at your potential and what you are really capable of accomplishing. I know that this was the case for me. I really learned the meaning of being a leader and also learned how important it is to push aside any prideful thoughts and ask for help when I really needed it.

DISSpeedweeks in February was definitely one of the highlights this year. Because I interned with NASCAR last summer, the department I worked with was awesome enough to get me passes to every race. I made it to as many races as I could, despite all of the assignments and tests that were thrown on me. I went to the Sprint Unlimited and NASCAR Home Tracks promoters hospitality event, the Camping World Truck Series race, Nationwide race, Daytona 500, Battle at the Beach, and saw the K&N East Series race at New Smyrna Speedway. You could say I was in heaven.

NASCAR Fans Pit Road

Boeing Scholarship Recipients

At the end of February, I got to take the trip of a lifetime!! This year I was selected as one of the Boeing scholarship recipients. Boeing invited all of the scholarship recipients from the Prescott and Daytona campuses to come tour the Boeing factory in Seattle, all expenses paid for. This was the first time that Boeing has ever done anything like this, so it was truly and honor to be selected to go on this trip. It was absolutely incredible walking through the factory where Boeing manufactures all of their planes, and then to walk on the flightline where these planes are delivered to the customers. We also were able to walk through a brand new 787 and 777! Can it get any better than that??

One of my goals for this year was to get involved in more engineering projects and focus more on my academic involvement because I already have a lot of experience with the social organizations I am involved in. I am proud to say that I have been initiated into Tau Beta Pi (an engineering honor society), Order of Omega (an honor society for Greek organizations), and I am currently working on a project that involves the design of a jet engine test cell.  Last semester I was involved in Formula SAE as a Special Topics credit. Special Topics is such a great way to get hands-on project experience while also receiving credit hours towards your degree program. I was a part of the engine team and assisted in the selection of new engine and the preliminary design report.

Space Needle

Elaine and I I’m happy to say that I have continued my work at Larsen Motorsports and am officially traveling to every IHRA Nitro Jam race with the team for the 2014 season! How lucky can a girl get?! I have taken on a marketing position with Embry-Riddle in order to market the university in conjunction with Larsen Motorsports. As a result, I get to work every event with the team in the all new Jet Technology Center presented by Embry-Riddle. This is an interactive fan experience at the race track that will take fans through the engineering, human factors, fabrication, and art work behind every jet dragster. Fans will have the opportunity to see future Larsen Motorsports jet dragsters built in front of their own eyes.

Houston RodeoOver Spring Break I went home to Houston for part of the week to catch up with the family. It was definitely a much needed trip and nothing ever beats going back to Texas. Some of the highlights included Whataburger (of course), Houston Rodeo (always a tradition), amazing Mexican food, family time, a new cowboy hat, and home-cooked meals!

 

 

Rodeo with family

Selfie with Roxy Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ERAU Jet DragsterAt the end of the week, I traveled to Tucson, Arizona for the first race of season with the Larsen Motorsports (LMS) teams! This year the LMS teams doubled in size. The team consists of 4 female jet dragster drivers who come from a variety of backgrounds but all have a passion for racing. Elaine Larsen, co-owner of Larsen Motorsports drivers the Miller Welding jet dragster. Marisha Falk, a double Embry-Riddle alumnae, drives the Embry-Riddle jet dragster. Kat Moller, one of the newest LMS drivers, drives the Matrix Systems jet dragster. And lastly, Dawn Perdue, the 2nd newest driver, drives the Sport Aviation jet dragster. Last weekend I headed back to Texas for the second race of the season in San Antonio! I’ll update you guys later about life on the road with the Larsen Motorsports teams. I have so much to tell you about our first two races and I’ll even include my race recaps.

At the trackLastly, I am excited to announce the launching of my new website!! It was designed by Star Computer Services, a business that my parents own. I guess having your mom design websites for a living has its perks. (: Check it out! I would love your support! www.paigesanchez.com

Be on the lookout for race updates next week!

Saying Good-bye to Seattle – for now

Last week and a half in Washington State! Next Thursday is my last day here at Boeing. It’s a bittersweet moment. I’m very excited to get back to my life at Riddle in Florida, but I will definitely miss all the great people I have met this summer. Although I must admit that these past 13 weeks have gone by painfully slow at times, I really did enjoy myself here and I’m forever grateful at all of the opportunities I’ve been given this summer.

Enough with the cheesiness, let’s get to the fun stuff! July seems to be one of the busiest months in Seattle. There are a lot of events going on in the area every single weekend! Nathalie, another ERAU student, and I decided to take a trip to DragonFest—a chinese food festival in the heart of Seattle’s international district. Lots of great food at really great prices! We even got roses from a Buddhist monk booth!

DragonFest!

It was a very nice touch 🙂

As part of the Propulsion Systems Division’s internship program, they hold an annual intern competition. This year: build a glider out of balsa wood. Very EGR-101, might I add…if you don’t know what I’m talking about, refer to one of my first blogs here where I talk about my freshman-year glider for the class (wow I’m old!). Needless to say…this time around, things didn’t go as we planned. It took a very long time to carve out the thing! And to perfect it? Yep, lots of blisters and cuts ensued…My team and I ended up getting 4th place…which isn’t too shabby I suppose.

Anyways, remember how I said ERAU alumni stick together? Well I keep getting proved right! Jose, who is a shipside support manager for the 787 Dreamliner, has welcomed us all with open hands! He gave us a tour of the Dreamliner assembly line (we even got to see the first -9!) Thanks to him, I even got to job shadow a Dreamliner liaison engineer one day. I had a lot of fun.

The weekend after that, my dad came to visit. He is a huge aviation fanatic (although he is not in the industry). Sadly, he was only here for a few hours, but we got to go to the Flying Heritage collection here in Everett, where they have military airplanes and tanks on display. We even got to see a V-2 rocket!

P-51 Mustang from the Flying Heritage Collection

Alas, but the weekend wasn’t over! The rest of the weekend, I spent it actually exploring Seattle. We visited the space needle, the EMP museum, the science center, the museum of flight at Boeing Field and the aquarium. And that’s not even a shadow of what the city has to offer!

Dalek (from Doctor Who) at the EMP museum

Blue Angels!

The last flying DC-2 in the world

Pike’s Place Market – the infamous wall of gum

In just 10 days, though, I will be making my way back to Florida. I’m really excited about all the changes coming to Riddle! I heard the new observatory went up on the College of Arts and Sciences, and that Daytona Beach has a new roller coaster! It always amazes me how many things can change in a span of just a few months.

Another really neat thing going on is that campus has gone tobacco-free, effective Aug. 1 2013. I think it’s a really great thing, and very progressive of ERAU to be doing that. A lot of big-name companies out there like Boeing are doing the same thing! Boeing has been a tobacco-free workplace for some time now, and from what my coworkers tell me, it makes a huge difference not only in health, but as a courtesy to others and overall employee well-being. It will be really nice to be able to walk around and not have to gasp a cloud of second-hand smoke while walking to the library. The University will be offering workshops for those students who want to quit smoking as well. Way to go ERAU!

Bye for now Seattle!